Who is Payton Burke? KFC staffer fired for homophobic slurs at gay couple, video shows him calling them 'queer'
'They just started to get very angry, very quickly,' the couple recall adding, 'It seemed like everyone was taking turns to come to the window and yell at us. We just sat there and took it'
An employee belonging to the popular food chain restaurant KFC was reportedly fired after allegedly hurling homophobic slurs against a gay couple in Illinois. The employee was identified as Payton Burke by KHQA.
The couple — Joshua Garner and his partner Lee Walls — were reportedly at the outlet to pick up an order for a DoorDash customer at the drive-through of KFC, in Springfield. They were traveling with Garner's younger brother. The meal that the DoorDash customer had requested was unavailable when Garner and Walls had arrived at the drive-thru, and so they had called the customer to ask if there was something else that could be ordered.
The employee at this time asked, "Is there a problem?" and in response, Walls had held his hand up to indicate he needed a moment as he was on a call. The employee then responded, "Hold on I know this mother****er did not just put his hand up at me." So Walls began to record the incident at this time.
The angry employee began to attack them verbally and a video shared by Garner on Facebook records everything that occurred. Garner's recording shows how the man called the couple “queers” and “f***s”.
The recording also shows Garner voice out in the background, “You can’t do that! You can’t do that!” To which, the employee responds, "I don’t give a f**k if y’all are gay or not. This motherf****r looks queer so he can get the f**k out of here.” Garner warns Burke that he could lose his job for this and says, “You’re going to lose your job I hope you know that!”
Speaking regarding this incident, Garner said that he was shaken and so was his partner who had been with him. He also stressed that he hoped everyone including the manager who was involved in this incident would get fired.
He added, “It was like a shot to the heart, like a bullet to the heart,” he told WAND. “It was like we couldn’t say anything.” Walls, on the other hand, said, “They just started to get very angry, very quickly."
He added, "It seemed like everyone was taking turns to come to the window and yell at us." Garner added, “We just sat there and took that," and explained, "We should have never had to take anything like that. It just really sucks because I regret not standing up for myself and I regret not doing something more."
KFC, on Thursday, February 25, claimed that they had apologized to the couple who were abused by their employee and also confirmed that Burke had been fired from their franchise. In the statement, KFC said, "KFC does not tolerate discrimination of any kind in its restaurants. The behavior of the team member in this video is completely unacceptable, and the team member has been terminated."